“Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.” (Proverbs 19:20-21 ESV)
Ever tried to give advice to someone who doesn’t accept it? On a more personal note, this was my life with my husband. If I gave him advice — not instruction — he resented it and me. And, no matter that my advice emerged because I loved him; at least early in our marriage. Later, the marriage was poisoned by so much, I can’t honestly say that my advice didn’t become instruction! Whether advice or instruction, he never accepted either.
Some people don’t want any help; they can’t even admit a need for help. “I’m fine,” they say. “No, I don’t need anything from you;” or even “Leave me alone, would you!” These people have everything well planned for; life is set. In their minds, they lack nothing.
“But it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” The wise seek advice and accept instruction. They know they need both so that the future is secure, good, easier, and most importantly, pleasing to God. The more we know about God, the better prepared we are to please Him. Seeking instruction is commonsense for the Christian.
Instruction in the Word is first and foremost. Advice for living is secondary but important, too. Therefore, seek out advice. Listen to instruction, and “so gain wisdom.”